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Lenny Krayzelburg    

Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer, Four-Time Gold Medalist, Immigrant from the former Soviet Union

Born in Odessa in 1975, little Lenny Krayzelburg was part of the Soviet Empire's Olympic training machine. At nine years old he was practicing five hours a day and destined for greatness. His parents were concerned about their son's future. They felt that his chances for success would be greater in America. In America, Krayzelburg found an aquatic home at the Westside Jewish Community Center where he practiced and worked thirty hours a week to help support his family. In 1993 Krayzelburg resumed training in earnest at Santa Monica City College. The coach, Stu Blumkin, saw the seventeen-year-old's potential during the first workout, and helped him garner a scholarship to Southern Cal. By his sophomore year, Krayzelburg shocked everyone by qualifying for the 1996 Olympic trials in Indianapolis.

He had the second best time in the 200-meter heats--and nobody had even heard of him. The top two swimmers from these trials would be eligible for the games in Atlanta. But Krayzelburg wasn't ready emotionally and he came in fifth. For the next four years Krayzelburg practiced hard. In August of 1999, he broke an unprecedented three World Records at the Pan American Pacific Championships. Krayzelburg did qualify for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and nailed two Gold Medals while breaking two Olympic records in the process. InstanceEndEditable

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